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What We Learned from the Great Resignation

It’s been a rough ride for business owners and human resource managers of late as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to up-end assumptions about work and employment.

Case in point: the Great Resignation. From late 2020 employees began leaving their jobs in unprecedented numbers — just as businesses were getting to grips with long-term remote work and what looked like only a limited return to the office.

Workplace “quits” spiked at more than 4 million a month in the first half of 2021, up as much as 25% over pre-pandemic levels in some cases, according to the Department of Labor Statistics, with resignations only receding in recent months amid high inflations and fears of a recession.

The Great Resignation heaped pressure on employers to figure out why employees were leaving and to put in place often expensive measures to retain staff. Despite this, employees remain more likely to leave today for reasons including low pay and a lack of benefits.

All this has made hanging on to valuable people difficult, especially for smaller businesses. Fortunately, Listerhill Credit Union has a free program designed to help employers like you combat some of the staffing issues that led to the Great Resignation.

Read on to find out how we can help you build healthy relationships that can help your business improve employee retention and worker satisfaction.

What Caused the Great Resignation?

There has been a great deal of research into the roots and consequences of the Great Resignation, with many of the findings pointing to low pay, but also entrenched factors that led to a general sense among employees of not being valued in the workplace.

For example, a 2021 study by the Pew Research Center found the reasons employees cited for leaving their employment included:

  • Insufficient pay

  • Lack of opportunities for advancement

  • Did not feel respected at work

  • Childcare issues

  • Limited or no flexibility in choosing hours

  • Poor benefits

The result? With employment plentiful, as the economy recovered and many older workers failed to return from pandemic layoffs or furloughs, more employees felt confident about leaping to quit — with or without another job in hand.

Lessons Learned

An overheating economy and a wave of layoffs in some sectors have returned monthly resignation levels to pre-pandemic levels, and the Great Resignation has become part of a broader realignment of workplace relationships to reflect a rapidly changing wider economy.

While staffers have learned they have leverage over employees should they feel their working conditions or prospects are not up to scratch, higher inflation and the threat of a protracted economic slowdown have also renewed appreciation for stable employment with good benefits.

Smart employers, too, have come to embrace the new reality, and are working to create more transparency in hiring, promotion, and other opportunities for advancement, as well as in workplace decision-making and leadership in general.

Where possible, they’re also looking to improve pay and benefits, with more than two-thirds saying they plan to improve their health and benefit offerings.

Many are looking to assist employees with programs designed to improve their physical, mental, and financial health, services that are appreciated by Millennial and Gen Z staffers in particular.

Steps to a Better Workplace

The Great Resignation has become the Great Renegotiation. Specific steps that proactive employers are taking to improve employee satisfaction and retention include:

Company Culture

Research shows that so-called “soft” factors, such as feeling valued at work, having meaningful work and achievable goals play an outsized role in workplace satisfaction.

Opportunities

Companies find showing employees not only how they are valued but how they will progress through planned, attainable career advancement helps keep them motivated and engaged.

Transparency

That same openness is valuable in other parts of the employee-employer relationship, including fully transparent onboarding, training, and feedback, as well as increased engagement with senior decision-makers in regular company-wide meetings.

Compensation

No working relationship can thrive if a staffer feels they are being underpaid. Companies are finding that it helps to be proactive with pay increases to reward work over time, rather than waiting for annual contract negotiations or simply holding out until an employee asks for a raise.

Flexibility

Today’s workers demand and expect a high degree of flexibility in where, when, and how they work. A lot of the conversation is about remote and hybrid work, with many employees seeking hybrid and remote work opportunities wherever possible.

Workers also appreciate assistance with childcare and other family responsibilities, with more companies offering flexible working hours, time off, and even on-site care facilities.

Benefits

Employees are getting smart with benefits, including benefits that expand the definition of wellness to include physical, mental, and financial health.

While health insurance and retirement are as important as ever, smart companies are increasingly offering access to financial management and planning tools and counseling as an effective way to help employees build better futures.

Build Retention with Listerhill Works

As desirable as these steps sound, they may prove difficult or impractical for many small to medium-sized businesses. For example, your facility may be unable to provide in-house child care. Or there might be jobs in your company that don’t have an obvious path to promotion.

Our free program, Listerhill Works, is designed to offer affordable, accessible everyday investment services and the long-term benefits of expert financial planning to your staff as a valuable add-on to your benefits package. Best of all, it won’t cost you or your employees a cent.

Listerhill Works offers your employees full membership access to our financial products and services, including:

We also offer access to our full range of financial planning services, including:

  • Financial planning with our Financial planning resrouces

  • Free financial literacy seminars and workshops

  • Free access to our Banzai online financial wellness program

Employee Benefits and Your Bottom Line

The Pew Center study reported that a lack of benefits was a concern for 43% of workers who quit during the Great Recession. Listerhill Works adds significant value to your employees’ benefits package at no additional cost to you and no liability to your business.

It also provides measurable bottom-line benefits to your business. According to Employee Benefit News, financially stressed workers log a higher number of sick days and rack up greater healthcare costs.

Helping your employees take care of their financial needs and money goals means:

  • A happier, less-stressed workforce

  • Employees who use their pay and benefits well

  • Workers who understand the benefits of long-term planning and relationships

That all adds up to better work relationships, increased productivity, and lower staff turnover. Listerhill Works is a win for your staff and a win for you.

Is Listerhill Right for You and Your People?

Listerhill Works links your staff to a great financial community, one that understands their needs and can help them make the most of their pay, benefits, and opportunities. Membership is open to employees of any business located in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, or Tennessee.

At Listerhill Credit Union, we’ve grown strong by building successful long-term relationships. We’re ready to help your business and your people do the same as a Listerhill Works partner organization.

Get in touch with our our Director of Financial Health to learn more!

Sarah Evans

Phone: 256-383-9204 ext. 1269 | Email: sevans@listerhill.com

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Frequently Asked Questions

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